REVIEW

  • Zoltan Alexander

nº46 / PARISPHOTO 2019


We put the focus on cutting-edge galleries at PARISPHOTO 2019 at the Grand Palais. Here are the most significant photographic exhibitions.





BEING STAGED AND FRAMED

"ParisPhoto is an exceptional platform for discovery and exchange, to unveil the best of photography over nearly two centuries."

Christoph Wiesner

Artistic Director of ParisPhoto



 


Interviews and featured galleries, artists by Zoltan Alexander



Christoph Wiesner of ParisPhoto, Peter Hujar at Jeu de Paume (Paris), Jonny Briggs at Approche (Paris), AKKA at Le Carreau du Temple (Paris), Hassan Hajjaj at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), Emeric Lhuisset at BMW Residency (Paris), Máté Bartha at TOBE Gallery (Budapest), Elsa Leydier at Galerie Intervalle (Paris) and Maison Ruinart (Reims), Osei Bonsu of Tate Modern (London), Samuel Fordham of UWE at Carte Blanche Student (Bristol), Eric Baudelaire at Galería Juana De Aizpuru (Madrid), Niko Luoma at Taik Persons Gallery (Berlin), Ayana V Jackson at JP Morgan Chase (New York) and at Marian Ibrahim Gallery (Boston), Pixy Liao at Blindspot Gallery (Hong Kong), Adrian Sauer at Klemm's Gallery (Berlin), Anne Bean at England & Co Gallery (London), Helmut Newton, Herb Ritts at Hamiltons Gallery (London), Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town/ Johannesburg), Juergen Teller at Suzanne Tarasieve Gallery (Paris), Georges Rousse, Anna Malagrida, Denis Darzacq, Sabine Pigalle at Galerie RX (Paris), Joel-Peter Witkin at Galerie Baudoin Lebon (Paris), Lorenzo Vitturi at Flowers Gallery (London), Edward Burtynsky at Nicholas Metiver Gallery (Toronto), Tim Walker at Michael Hoppen Gallery (London)



PART II.

Interview with Emeric Lhuisset at BMW Residency (Paris)

and Máté Bartha at TOBE Gallery (Budapest)


PART III.

Interview with Elsa Leydier at Galerie Intervalle (Paris) with the participation of Maison Ruinart



 


ParisPhoto 2019 / © video by Zoltan Alexander ZOLTAN+MEDIA



An unparalleled presentation of contemporary and vintage photography from grandmasters to emerging young talents, from Mapplethorpe to Man Ray, ParisPhoto 2019 returns to the Grand Palais with its 23rd edition.

The Fair always opens on a Tuesday for a selected crowd of officials and collectors, on Wednesday for the press and VIP and from Thursday to Sunday to the public.


Since 1997, the Fair’s mission is to provide visitors with first-hand insights and access to the art world, promote galleries, publishers and artists all around the world. This year ParisPhoto brought 179 galleries and 33 publishers together, offering collectors and art-enthusiasts the most diverse presentation in photography.


The Fair's programming had a large variety of curated exhibitions and conversation cycles with guest-artists, curators, collectors and art critics. Publishing houses were present as photography would not exist without the support of books - essential in the visibility and the knowledge that they bring to the medium.




Hamiltons Gallery / Installation of Helmut Newton / Photo © Courtesy of ZOLTAN+MEDIA


Hamiltons Gallery / "Darati" of Herb Ritts / Photo © Courtesy of Hamilton Gallery

Each year, ParisPhoto is divided into sectors:


the Main section with exhibitors, Curiosa with its second edition curated by Osei Bonsu, Carte Blanche Student partnered with Picto Foundation and SNCF Gares & Connexions, Aperture with Art Book Dealers & Publishers, followed by Prismes and the MK2 Film section in the Salon d'Honneur on the first floor with the additional Art Collection of the Fair's official partner J.P. Morgan Chase next to the VIP Lounge of Maison Ruinart presenting large-scale prints of Vik Muniz.


In addition to the collectors' programme “In Paris during ParisPhoto” reunited a dense network of cultural institutions throughout Paris comprising some of the most compelling photographic exhibitions.


We highlighted a few.




Photo © Courtesy of Peter Hujar


highlights / JEU DE PAUME / PETER HUJAR


The life and photographic images of Peter Hujar (1934-1987) are inseparable from the 80’s New York. Independent by nature, willingly combative, cultivated and well introduced into the artistic world, Hujar evolved in an avant-garde scene made of dancers, musicians, visual artists and transvestites. His accomplishment as a photographer was contemporary with the evolution and visibility of the gay lifestyle between 1969 and the AIDS crisis of the 1980s.




Photo © Courtesy of Peter Hujar
Photo © Courtesy of Peter Hujar
Photo © Courtesy of Peter Hujar


After high school in 1953, Hujar worked as an assistant to various photographers in advertising. Five years of collaborating with mainstream magazines were enough to convince him that a career as a fashion photographer was not for him. In 1973, he dived into a more elaborate, artistic life allowing himself greater freedom in his photographic work. He rented a loft-studio above an East Village theatre and turned his focus on those who refused to have easy success in life.




Photo © Courtesy of Peter Hujar


He said they were "simple and direct images of difficult and complicated subjects". He immortalised instants and cultural practices of his time, had a brief affair with young artist David Wojnarowicz, with whom he went through all the dilapidated neighbourhoods and underground places of New York. The city Hujar photographed at this time was a small vibrant world with intense creative energy and freedom, which has since disappeared. Peter Hujar died in November 1987 from AIDS-related pneumonia.


His current exhibition at Jeu de Paume, "Peter Hujar: Speed ​​of Life" presents a selection of over 140 photographs, resolutely black & white prints, nudes and landscapes of New York City. The exhibition follows Hujar's journey from his early works in the mid-1950s to the 1980s when he was one of the major figures of the East Village art scene.




Photo © Courtesy of Jonny Briggs


highlights / APPROCHE / JONNY BRIGGS


The satellite art fair APPROCHE organised by Emilia Genuardi and Elsa Janssen, at Galerie Le Molière, rue Richelieu, presented 15 international artists. Amongst the exhibitors the Italian Nconemporary exhibited a photographic series by UK artist Jonny Briggs.


Briggs had already many exhibitions behind him including Saatchi Gallery (London), Zabludowicz Collection (London), Fondazione Fotografia Modena (Modena) and Unseen (Amsterdam).




Photo © Courtesy of Jonny Briggs
Photo © Courtesy of Jonny Briggs
Photo © Courtesy of Jonny Briggs


Briggs said: “In search of lost parts of my childhood I try to think outside the reality I was socialised into. I explore the constructed reality of the family and question the boundaries between us, between child/adult, self/other, nature/culture, real/fake in an attempt to revive my unconditioned self, beyond the family bubble.


Although easily assumed to be photoshopped or faked, upon closer inspection the images are made to be more real than first expected. Involving staged installations, I look back to my younger self and attempt to re-capture childhood nature through my assuming adult eyes.”




Photo © Courtesy of AKAA


highlights / LE CARREAU DU TEMPLE / AKAA


AKAA, “Also Known As Africa” with its 4th edition presented 50 exhibitors at the Carreau du Temple, an ever more specialised selection of art galleries and works of over 150 artists connected to Africa, including some new galleries from Germany, Angola and Mali. A unique fair of contemporary art and design dedicated to Africa and its diasporas, and its artistic influence throughout the world Africa. AKAA also aims to inform, educate and guide, and therefore, "AKAA Underground" was created in 2017.


AKAA has become one of the must-attend events for collectors, professionals and art-lovers. It is also distinguished by its conviviality and its desire for exchange, offering a warm, fluid, open space to meetings; at the same time it is commercial, cultural and intellectual, thanks to “AKAA Meetings”, the full-fledged platform within the Fair where artists, curators and professionals are invited to speak and debate publicly. With a rich programme of conferences, concerts, screenings, performances and readings, “AKAA Meetings” reflects on the creative dynamism of radiating Africa.




"Kesh Angels" by Hassan Hajjaj / Photo © Courtesy of Hassan Hajjaj


highlights / LA MAISON EUROPÉENNE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE / HASSAN HAJJAJ


First French retrospective, reflecting a 30-year career of Anglo-Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj at the MEP / Maison Européenne de la Photographie. He was offered a carte blanche to invest all areas of the European House of Photography including the Ateliers Pedagogiques to the in-house shop and café, which he transformed into a Moroccan House of Photography.


The vast journey traces several years of his career, featuring the most important photographic series as well as videos, installations, furniture, rugs and decorations, testifying to a colourful universe that makes him one of the most recognised pioneers of pop art in Morocco.


Hassan Hajjaj is the pioneer of Moroccan pop art.




Photo © Courtesy of Hassan Hajjaj


Hajjaj’s deliberately kitsch world feeds on clichés. He often combines ethnic influences, logos and everyday objects with the basis of very simple materials; he uses clichés giving them a contemporary form: road signs and shop signs turned into tables, tin cans transformed into chandeliers. His portraits of women wearing djellabas, scarves, veils and other traditional items contrast with surprising, modern elements, such as vividly coloured fabrics, leopard prints, sunglasses or shoes imitating high-end luxury brands. Hajjaj also addresses political issues of wearing the veil and identity. Proud and defiant, his models pose on their motorbikes which they ride around Marrakesh.


Photo © Courtesy of Hassan Hajjaj

Born in 1961 in Larache, Morocco, and settled in London since 1973, Hajjaj lives and works between the two countries and never stops creating bridges between them. His photographic series started in 1980, revealing an artistic universe shared between the two cultures. His large-scale, colourful images and three-dimensional picture frames with consumer products are nourished by London's cultural and musical scenes as well as by the North

African heritage.




Photo © Courtesy of Hassan Hajjaj


The exhibition ends with an extensive selection of black & white prints, portraits, group shots and more documentary-like street scenes, in contrast to his colour photographs.


"I love Morocco's lights and colours. I've learned not to be scared of mixing everything together. I also wanted to show the world what I saw of the country and its people – the energy, the attitude, the inventiveness and glamour of street fashion, the fantastic graphics on everyday objects and products, and people's happy outlook and strength of character".